tales of the black freighter review

Tales of the Black Freighter

Frame from graphic novel Watchmen
Frame from graphic novel “Watchmen”

This animated movie is a spinoff of a comic book within the graphic novel Watchmen. The movie does an excellent job of keeping true to the core of this (fictitiuos) comic book. We watch the hero go through stomach turning atrocities that ultimately transform him from an honorable ship captain to a hallucinated madman.

It lacks, however, any tie-ins with Watchmen, as it strives to be a stand-alone entity. But, unfortunately, it’s hard to justify any film clocking in under 30 minutes of reel time with a price tag of $30 retail. Gerald Butler (King Leonidus from 300) is a sexy guy and a great voice-over, but not that good.

The movie starts off right in the middle of a bloody naval battle between a monstrous black ship and what seems to be an honest naval ship (maybe British). It would have been nice to see some homage to the spinoff’s roots, visa vi a prologue of the fanboy reading “Tales of the Black Freighter” at a newsstand in NYC. After all, that’s how readers followed the comic: the fanboy would talk to the newsstand vendor, then we would get a glimpse of Freighter and the action would perfectly coincide with the discussion fanboy was having–but with a really twisted, gory perversion of the conversation.

All-in-all it’s interesting, but not worth the dough. Maybe if nothing interesting is on your Netflix list you should give this DVD a shot, but don’t expect to be pulled into the story for long. I recommend the graphic novel instead.

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